Homeboy: Why Europe?
Well I am going to keep this diary a bit shorter than usual rants. This week I had my laptop crash hard and there is nothing harder to do than to get something electronic fixed while in a foreign country. But never fear, the team’s house computer is to the rescue.
Subject exploration this week: Why race in Europe? A simple question with some simple responses. The main reason for me is easy; I like things which challenge me. As a cyclist, or even an athlete, I can think of no other thing that is harder than racing a full season in Europe. It’s the Mount Everest of cycling; you just can’t go any higher.
Other reasons include the fact that as a European pro you can make a living. The idea of just scrapping a long with a small stipend and race winnings in the US isn’t that appealing to me. Combine that with the fact your travel times are almost triple that of your average European pro it doesn’t make much sense. More than the money it’s also the cultural aspects of living here. It is an opportunity to do something I love and experience a whole different world and lifestyle.
Along the lines of living, when asked, “What do you do for living?” The reply of “Oh, I race bicycles for a living.” Isn’t greeted with the blank stares of unknowing eyes, but is meet with much respect and awe. It is a little self-loathing, but I would like to have my job looked at with some respect and not as an oddity of a crazy shaved legged person as per the standard US response.
Lastly, if you look at any of the top pros in the US right now you will see one common thread. Europe. Every single one of them has some connection to haven come over here and let the racing help mold them into the successful riders they are today. Navigators, US Postal and even Saturn all spend a part of their season over here in Europe.
So Europe might not be ultimately suited to me as some have suggested, but I am sure I can make it over here. If I find out for me that the road becoming a pro comes to an impasse which I am unable to go around, then I will know I have come to the fulcrum of my journey as a cyclist. I can go on a new road with the serenity of “What if?” questions gone from my mind.
“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost –
Till next week,